The workload for Jesus Christ just got a little bit lighter. No longer will he have to hear the daily prayers of Mike Conley as he begs for just one All-Star birth. Instead of asking for a bid to the NBA’s yearly showcase, Kemba Walker will only pray that his alma mater finds its way out of the gutter. All of this happened because about a couple weeks ago, the NBA finally amended their All-Star voting process and allowed for players and pundits to have some input. So let’s play a game of “who’s in my mouth” and see which players can benefit from this rule change. Whoops, I meant to say “who’s in and who’s out.” You can take the kid outta college…
Players and media members will each get 25% of the vote. We’ve seen how the players’ opinions differ from pundits, as it was only two years ago when the players selected James Harden as the league MVP instead of Steph Curry. This should make things interesting come voting time. The rift between analytic-loving critics and actual players is evident. How will this play out? I think I have some found some players both these groups can agree to send to the big game.
Let’s begin with Conley and Kemba. Conley returned awfully quickly from a serious back injury and is once again leading the Grizz as they boast a good 22-15 record. Sure, he has missed ten games however, that is not enough to keep him out of the festivities. Coming off signing the biggest contract in league history, Conley has proven his worth. Averaging a career high in points, boards and three point percentage, Conley may finally get the bid he deserves.
Skywalker helped Charlotte fly out of the gate this season. The Hornets have cooled off however, Kemba has remained red hot. Critics once claimed Walker would perpetually be an inefficient volume shooter. Now the point guard is shooting 47% from the floor and 42% from three. The Hornets are holding down the 4th seed in a much improved East. I think he has a better shot than Conley of earning an All-Star nod.
The Greek Freak is a rebound per game away from averaging a double double. What’s more, he leads his squad in points, boards, assists, steals and blocks. Woah. The Bucks are a contender to be a top four team in the East. Giannis has picked up the slack as The Deer are doing this all without the underrated Kris Middleton. If the pundits vote overwhelmingly for any player, it will be Giannis.
“I know when that ZingGod bling, that can only mean one thing.” Kristap is straight hoopin’ for the Knicks. Hey, the Knicks are going to make the playoffs, isn’t that weird? The Latvian made a huge leap this year, avoiding the sophomore slump. He should replace Mr. Drummond as a big this year. If this year’s game doesn’t have KP, then something has gone seriously wrong.
When you’re the best player on an 22-14 team in the crowded West, you deserve some love. Especially when your name is Gordon Hayward and you’re putting up an efficient 23, 6, and 4 a night. The Jazz have finally put it all together. It’s a matter of time until they are challenging the Rockets for the 3rd seed out West.
An even better question than asking who will make the game for the first time: Who will be left out? If the Blazers don’t get above .500 then I really doubt if Dame Lillard avenges his snub from last year. Winning helps. Will fans vote for an aging D-Wade on a new team? They will, even though they shouldn’t. IT4 has boosted his numbers and helped the injury plagued Cs remain as the East’s 3rd seed. But will he get enough votes to repeat as an All-Star? Does John Wall from the disappointing Wizards get in? The West has some more question marks. Someone has to replace Kobe. I am not sure Aldridge makes it in given his underwhelming performance.
Here is what could happen in the West:
Conley takes the place of the Black Mamba.
KAT fills in for an injured Blake.
Hayward boots out Aldridge.
In the East:
KP replaces Chris Bosh.
Smell ya later Paul Millsap; enter Giannis.
Kemba kicks out John Wall and deservingly so.
FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD